January rambling: India #1 in ’23

Arthur answers my questions

Happy New Year! 2023

The U.S. Census Bureau’s projections

India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution 
Bossism: Revolt of the Oligarch Class
The Debt Ceiling: a (p)review
Social Quitting: How social media barons squandered their lock-in and made themselves obsolete.
Attack of the Chatbots: Screenwriters’ Friend or Foe?
Person to Person with Norah O’Donnell, interview with Jon Stewart

Clint Meneely: 1975 recording about Meneely bells of Troy, NY

Barbara Walters Remembered by ‘The View’ Co-Hosts, Past and Present, in Show Tribute Episode
Pelé, , Charismatic Master of the “Beautiful Game,” Dies at 82

Sign Up To Be An Organ Donor. You can provide lifesaving organs to as many as eight people.

The Curious Case of Nebraska Man

A Plane of Monkeys, a Pandemic, and a Botched Deal: Inside a Science Crisis You’ve Never Heard Of

Now I Know – Grapefruits: The Nuclear Fruit? and 
The Littlest Big Winner and Then, Their Pants Exploded and The Sesame Seed Backlash of 2023 and America’s Secret, Tasty World War II Weapon? and Why Can’t Californians Buy This Snack?
Abortion rights

The Supreme Court’s decision last summer that overturned the federal right to an abortion sent Rachel Sweet into overdrive focused on two states (Kansas, Kentucky) that share traditionally conservative values.

“With those [successful] campaigns behind her, Sweet has had time to reflect on the lessons learned from those hard-fought victories, including what many activists on her side of the issue misunderstand about voters who are persuadable on abortion rights.”

(The takeaway here is that one should not be so quick to pigeonhole people who could turn out to be your political allies on some issues.
People have been talking about Buffalo, the second-largest city in New York State, a lot recently. Part of it has to do with the deadly weather; folks there are used to snow but not that. Some of it surely with the near-death on national television of  Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, coincidentally, the first game I started watching from the beginning all season. There’s been a lot of “the city’s been through a lot this year,” going back to the shooting deaths of ten black folks at a supermarket in May 2022.
I’m not unhappy about it. It’s just that I hope we can show such concern for each other when there’s no crisis. I know this is an unrealistic ideal.
Quizzes and questions
fillyjonk does the annual quiz I completed
Arthur answered my questions about Nancy Pelosi v. Kevin McCarthy, and Sinema and  ranked voting and sheep
Coverville 1425: The 2022 Coverville Countdown, Part One and 
1426: : The 2022 Coverville Countdown, Part 2 and 1427: The Kenny Loggins Cover Story and 1428: The Jeff Beck Tribute

Hymne (Hymn to the Blessed Sacrament), by Olivier Messiaen

Pale Blue Eyes – the Velvet Underground
The Boxer – Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Douglas
The Stars and the Moon – Audra McDonald
Sumer is Icumen in – The Hilliard Ensemble
To Whom It May Concern – Lisa Marie Presley, who died at 54

“Weird Al” Yankovic Breaks Down His Most Iconic Tracks

Jeff Beck:  Farewell and Guitar Giant  dies at 78 and his 10 Best Songs: With Yardbirds, Solo & Beyond

Sunday Stealing: Last year I …

STILL liminal

Once again, I’m doing the Sunday Stealing, Last year, I… This is even though some of the questions are similar to the Sedingerian quiz I’m mostly posting tomorrow. You can compare and contrast my answers!

What song will always remind you of last year?  Doesn’t have to be a song released last year.

Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush. It recharted last year in the UK because of the program Stranger Things, which, BTW, I have never watched and don’t even know what platform it’s on. But I have heard it more often than ever since nearly four decades ago.

What do you wish you would have done more of?

Work on genealogy. I discovered that someone had posted on their family tree on Ancestry the purported parents of my great-grandfather, Samuel Walker, who I vaguely remember. But I don’t think this citation is correct because the demographics don’t work.

What do you wish you would have done less of?

Looking at the weekly COVID designation for my county. By the way, I swear Albany County and adjacent Rensselaer County were in lockstep regarding their COVID status for the entire year. It wasn’t true of other counties in the metro, such as Schenectady and Saratoga.

What was your favorite new TV program? Movie? Album/Songs? Or if you didn’t pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations?

Definitely no new TV program. I liked the new Puss In Boots movie I saw this week. Here is some music; I’d pick the new/old Sinatra album.

Too long ago

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently?

I have no idea what I did on my birthday. I was some multiple of 23; no, I didn’t feel particularly different.

What political or social issue stirred you the most?

The Supreme Court overturned women’s right to choose what they do with their bodies and the subsequent draconian laws passed by states.

Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Someone I talked with at the library gala.

What changed at your job?

The great thing about retirement is that I don’t have to think about that.

What changed in your home?

My daughter went to college.

Describe how a relationship changed.

My daughter went to college.

Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year?  How so?

Goodness, I hope not. If you’re not learning, you’re not living.

Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.

Liminal. It is a word that one of my pastors used in sermons at least twice. I mentioned this here. “Liminal ” comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.” The liminal space is the “crossing over” space – a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not yet fully in something else. 

The news distresses me

turning America into an idiocracy

distressesThe news distresses me. It has been true for a long while, yet even in a barrage of bad news, these trends got under my skin.

ITEM: “A North Carolina Republican congressional candidate floated a proposal to create a community review process that would determine whether survivors of rape and incest can get abortions.

“Bo Hines, the GOP candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, wants to outlaw all abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk.

“‘He wants victims of rape and incest to be allowed to get an abortion on a case-by-case basis through a community-level review process outside the jurisdiction of the federal government,’ local news outlet WRAL reported.”

If you think a serious attempt at national legislation to ban abortion is impossible, that sounds like the conversation that Roe v. Wade would never be overturned before it was.

Anne Frank

ITEM: “Johnny Teague, who is running for Congress in a district that represents Houston, Texas, actually wrote a book in 2020 entitled ‘The Lost Diary of Anne Frank.’ In this book, which Teague claims is based on extensive and verifiable research, Anne Frank continues her diaries while under capture in Auschwitz, and her words now claim that she had accepted Jesus as her lord and savior – before eventually dying in the gas chambers.

“Let’s get one thing straight. This whole concept is pure, unadulterated horse…”

The number of antisemitic comments surged in 2021, and this is another banner year. It’s not just Kanye West or whatever he’s calling himself. Newsmax notes that ‘Antisemitism’ shot to the top of Google searches ahead of the midterms.

Alan Singer, a Long Island professor I’ve met, and a confirmed atheist, wrote I Am A Jew to take on the bigots.

ITEM: Herschel Walker and the Character Issue

“It’s this no-matter-what vote that’s really turning America into idiocracy. But it may be even worse than that. Whereas bad character and behavior used to be a political handicap, today it actually seems an asset.”

I watched Jordan Klepper Fingers the Midterms – America Unfollows Democracy last week. A scary half hour. Probably the weirdest bit was someone who insisted to Klepper that actor James Woods had replaced Joe Biden. What?


ITEM: Bail Reform: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (watch this!)

If you’ve seen Republican National Committee attack ads this political season, bail reform has been touted as the reason for increased criminality. This is despite the fact in almost all of the cases of violent crime cited, the alleged perpetrator was not out on bail.

The Republican candidate for governor, Lee Zeldin, falls squarely in that category. Frank Robinson noted why one ought not to vote for him. And my already-cast vote was definitely an anti-Zeldin ballot.

I’ve even seen it online, but also on the network news spewed by folks such as  Congressman Michael McCaul that Paul Pelosi’s assault is a sign that bail reform is terrible, even though the alleged assailant hadn’t even been arrested.

ITEM: This brings me to the item that triggered the post, the attack on Mr. Pelosi, which has garnered all sorts of BS conspiracy theories. One guy, djt, asserted that the window in the Pelosi home was broken from the inside, which he knows because… IDK.

A lot of the noise is on Twitter. I understand there has been a recent change in ownership. These are just some of the reasons why the news distresses me. Finally, a poem: A ‘plague on both houses’—still ends up a plague.

Julyish rambling: in search of meaning

That’s Life

HTETEOTW Chapter 3: Energy, Complexity, and Civilization

Inflation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Pope apologizes for ‘catastrophic’ school policy in Canada

As Monkeypox Spreads, US Vaccine Access Is Pitifully Inadequate

How Much Household Income Is Required To Be Considered ‘Rich’ In These US Cities

Journalists Sense Turmoil in Their Industry Amid Continued Passion for Their Work

Five journalists covering the Internet in search of meaning, not viral trends

When Mixology Meets Medicine

LIVE: Around the World Cams / Beautiful Earth Webcam

The story we tell ourselves about today’s Stars and Stripes is a lie. The truth is much stranger.

John Green: Has this artist ever seen a baby?

Now I Know:  The Herd Mentality That’s Actually Rather Democratic, and  Maybe Monday Should Still Be the Weekend and The World Record That Will Definitely Stick and Hungry Hungry Hero Dog?

Defending democracy

Trump doesn’t have a side of the 1-6 story; there is no ambiguity 

The Jan. 6 Hearings Utterly Embarrassed Trump and All Involved. The final January 6 hearing of the summer spotlighted Trump and allies like Kevin McCarthy and fist-pumper to fleeing coward Josh Hawley. It should serve as a reminder of their humiliating but dangerous thirst for power.

Mark Leibovich’s new book, Thank You For Your Servitude, pillories a party whose leaders remain (at least publicly) in the 45th president’s thrall. e.g.,  Elise Stefanik Attacks NYS Department of Education

The Secret Service Has Managed to Locate Only One Coup-Related Text Message

If Trump Wins in 2024, Christian Nationalism – which MTG has suggested for the GOP – Could Reign Supreme in Government. Also,
Authoritarianism 101: Trump Plot to Purge Civil Servants If Reelected Draws Alarm – “Do not underestimate the destruction this will cause”

Roberts’s Attempt to Keep “Roe” Intact Fell Apart After Alito’s Draft Leaked 

Matt Birk (R-MN) Warns Abortion Leads to Women Having Careers and Claims Pro-choice Advocates Are Always Playing “the Rape Card” 

“Pro-Life” Idaho Republicans Declare Women Should Be Left to Die to Save  Fetuses

Primala Jayapal Shares Her Own Abortion Story — and Why Abortion Rights Are Vital

Why did Republicans vote against legal condom use?



That’s Entertainment

Comic-Con 2022 Trailers

Marvel’s Movie Math: Comic Creators Claim It’s “Bait and Switch” On Payments 

Kennedy Center Honors Will Fete George Clooney, Gladys Knight, and U2

 Whatever happened to Sandy Duncan?

Discover the late Peg Lynch, a woman who, in the early days of television, wrote 11,000 scripts and starred in her own TV network hit sitcom for six years

Emma Allen, the New Yorker cartoon editor, makes history as the youngest and first woman in the role

Permanent JEOPARDY hosts and second chance contestants

How I Became the Fake Tom Cruise

There was a CBS-TV series called That’s Life (2000-2002)  about “Lydia DeLucca, a 30-something, a blue-collar underdog who turns her life upside down when she ditches the guy she’s about to marry and goes back to college. Now, Lydia must juggle her classes, work, family, and friends, all the while trying to make ends meet.” I watched it because of Ellen Burstyn and Paul Sorvino, who played Lydia’s parents. Sorvino died at the age of 83.

Burt Metcalfe, Producer on Every Season of ‘MAS*H,’ Dies at 87

Mary Alice, Actress in ‘A Different World, I’ll Fly Away, Sparkle, and much more, dies at 85

Alan Grant, Legendary Batman, Lobo, Judge Dredd Writer, Has Died

Actor David Warner has died

Aaron Latham, Screenwriter, Journalist Dies at 78. Husband of CBS News’s Lesley Stahl

Taurean Blacque, Det. Neal Washington on Hill Street Blues, Dies at 82


There’s a guy named Maxwell Frost (D-FL) running for Congress. Every time I see his name, I think of this song by Mann and Weil

Coverville 1407: Cover Stories for Imagine Dragons and Joan Osborne and a Fast Times Tribute and Coverville 1408: The Don Henley Cover Story

Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s score to Finding Neverland

Audra McDonald sings Climb Ev’ry Mountain from the 2013 televised version of The Sound of Music

Playing for Change: King Clave featuring Mickey Hart

All That Jazz – Bob Fosse Tribute, with scenes from Chicago, Cabaret, and Sweet Charity

Celluloid Heroes – Blackmore’s Night

We Both Reached For The Gun from the show Chicago in Korean

The Music Man with a partially deaf cast

Joni Mitchell Surprises Fans With Her First Full Concert In Nearly 20 Years

July rambling: Do you remember America?


From https://xkcd.com/2633/

Do you remember America?

Science shows US Supreme Court abortion, guns, and environmental rulings will have devastating consequences

Dark Money Fuels the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Push to Control State Legislatures

 How Much Do Health Disparities Actually Cost?

One Big Reason Hollywood Hasn’t Begun Boycotting States Over Abortion Access

An immature notion of Freedom

The Highland Park Shooting Is a Stark Symbol of a Uniquely American Crisis

White Replacement Theory is Nothing New

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Water and Rent

As of July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will connect all landline and cell phone users with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 988 if you or someone you know is in danger of suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis.

STILL: History is not a feel-good story.

Giuliani: ‘She was NEVER present when I asked for a pardon

What Happened to Michael Flynn?

Ted Cruz feuds with Elmo’s dad

674 times 3

The State of Local News: The 2022 Report

14-year-old’s “I Voted” sticker submission goes viral

James Webb Space Telescope has returned its first imagery,

Walking the World: Hanoi (part 1); more Walking The World if you subscribe

Gettysburg National Military Park: 2022 Road Trip

Safety Town

Bill Finger Awards 2022

Harrison Ford is 80; he was pretty good in Call Of The Wild

Larry Storch, Corporal Randolph Agarn on ‘F Troop,’ Dies at 99

James Caan Dies at 82. I only saw him in The Godfather, Brian’s Song, and Misery

Joel Whitman, Legendary Chart Historian, and Reference Book Author, Died at 82. I’ve owned several iterations of his Billboard charts books.

Larry Wilmore interview

Chuck Miller:  Empire State Plaza Fireworks Photos, 2022 Edition

Confessions of a Delaware Park, Buffalo, First-timer

Now I Know: The Center of the Universe, Oklahoma Edition and  How My Search for Strawberry Jam Led to Pigs in Las Vegas and The Swine of Sin City and Frosted Flakes? Or a Bright Idea? and The Banned Fashion Accessory You Wore on Your Head and The Silver Miners That Left Behind Blue GoldBlue Gold

John Oliver: Beach dolls

Jazz Vocalist Rebecca Jade has earned San Diego Music Awards in 2022 (two), 2021, and “Artist of the Year” for 2020. Join her for her CD release party in Live and Up Close Theater on Friday, July 22 at 8 PM where she’ll be showcasing songs from her new record, A Shade of Jade.
Tickets are only $15! Sycuan Casino Resort, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, CA 92019. Sycuan.com | 619.445.6002

Sunrise Mass by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo

V-Discs: World War II at 78 RPM

Don Juan by Richard Strauss

  Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Fats Waller from Stormy Weather (1943)

The Godfather orchestral suite by composer Nino Rota

Coverville 1405: The 50th Anniversary of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Dances of Galanta by Zoltan Kodaly

Wing Ding from The Lucy Show (1965)

Street Symphony plays in harmony with Skid Row’s ‘sacred spaces’


Sweeney Todd if Lin-Manuel Miranda had written it and
the company of Hamilton played the parts

1968 Tony Awards, is the one, the only…Groucho!

Fourteen-minute deconstruction of the five-minute number Ariana DeBose and friends performed to kick off the 2022 Tony Awards ceremony.

Broadway in Yiddish? with Joel Grey

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